tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 17, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
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welcome back to the newsroom. i'm fredricka whitfield. here is a look at our top stories right now. two rising stars on an ohio high school football team, now convicted rainists. today a judge in steubenville found the two guilty of raping a drunk, 16-year-old girl. richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile facility and may pz received a two-year minimum
sentence. teens broke down after the verdict was read. richmond's mother openly wept. both boys apologized to the victim and her family. we'll hear from them and the victim's family straight ahead. a deadly accident at a northern california racetrack last night. two people were killed when a race car lost control during warm-up laps and slammed into the pit area at the marriesville raceway. we'll go live to california in a couple of minutes to get the latest details. in pennsylvania there will be a memorial this evening fon the campus of seton hill university near pittsburgh, remembering the lacrosse coach. the 30-year-old pregnant coach and her unborn son were called when the bus crashed yesterday. two other members of the team remain in the hospital. back to the verdict in the ohio rape trial that made
headlines around the world. two steubenville, ohio high school football players, trent mays and malik richmond, will seen have to register as sex offenders. they were convicted today of raping a drunk teenage girl. victim's mother issued a statement to the boys after they were sentenced to a juvenile detention facility. here's some of what she said. >> you displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code. your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you. >> poppy harlow was in the courtroom, she joins us now live. poppy, the evidence the judge was referring to earlier when he said he remembers it all, it included cell phone pictures taken of the victim, lurid text messages from the defendants, how much did all of that play in to the judge he's verdict? >> i think it played into it a lot, fredricka. but eyewitness testimony was also very damning for these two men now convicted rapists. three eyewitnesses saying that
they saw the boys sexually assault the girl in a way that when it's not consensual is considered rape in the state of ohio. three eyewitnesses all of them friends with these two boys. talking about the social media, text messages, this all unfolded and played out online, on internet in front of the world. that's what makes this case increasingly upsetting for everyone involved. not only was this girl degraded over and over as the prosecution put it, but she was done so after the fact again and again online. pictures of her really seemingly unconscious being posted on instagram. people texting, tweeting, making fun of the incident, that 12-minute youtube video that's now infamous of people joking around it later that night. all of this was presented in this court. i want to player part of the judge's decision that came down
this morning. the guilty verdict on all counts. >> i closely examined all the evidence and i reread all text messages that were sent in this case. many of the things that we learned during this trial that our children were saying and doing were profane, were ugly, with alcohol consumption shown as particular danger to our teenage youth. throughout a trial the court is able to view the demeanor of the witnesses, judge their credibility and weigh the evidence presented to the court. the court has done so in this case and it is the court's decision that both of the defendants are hereby adjudicated delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged.
for those of you who are not familiar with adjudications of delinquency in juvenile law, it is similar to a finding of guilty in the adult court. >> reporter: fredricka, the judge made the final call. this was not a jury trial. because it was a juvenile case it was the judge that rendered this decision after it was made, the two convicted rapists were taken out of the courthouse here and they went immediately in to detention in a juvenile detention facility. >> the defendants did address the court and the victim's family, seemingly very apologet apologetic, very remorseful. did that in any way play a role in the type of sentencing that they received? >> reporter: no one will know for sure because the judge did give them a chance to stand up and address the court, which they did bef handed down his sentence. no one will know whether that changed his mind or not. he could have given them a
longer sentence than he did but i want our viewers to get a moment to listen to these two boys as they apologized to the victim's family. >> i would like to apologize to you people. i had no intentions to do anything like that. i'm sorry to put you guys through it. >> i would truly like to apologize to [ bleep ], my family, your family and the community. >> reporter: i can tell you sitting in the courtroom watching, listening to this myself, it was difficult for everyone involved to see everything that played out today but you have to remember the victim, a 16-year-old girl raped, she is at the center of this and they are guilty of raping her. >> poppy harlow, thanks so much from steubenville, ohio. poppy will be back in a few
moments with more of what happened in court today, including when the victim's mother spoke out. we'll talk with a legal expert about what's next in this case. let's get back to the deadly accident at a california racetrack last night. a 68-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy were killed when a car lost control and slammed into the pit area of the marysville raceway. this crash occurred even before the race actually began. it was during the warm-up laps. what happened exactly? >> reporter: well, one theory is that it was a stuck gas pedal. we know that it happened in the pit area. from what sheriff's deputies told me this morning, the victims are 14-year-old marcus johnson. he's the cousin of the driver. the other victim is 68-year-old dale wonderjim. both were in the pit area and according to the sheriffs they had a legitimate reason to be there. in other words, they were connected to the race. this happened in marysville, this is an oval track.
its bank is very short, a quarter-mile long. one witness told me over the phone today, he says he thinks he heard what went wrong and that is that that gas pedal was stuck and that the throttle was wide open and that's why very unusual he went into the pit area going at an extremely high speed. let's take a listen. >> he was not trying to come off the truk traack. he was trying to make the corner and he didn't make the corner and went flying out the exit. it started tumbling and struck two people at a quad. >> it is devastating, come out to have a good time, especially people in the pits. but you never know what's going to happen because it's racing and racing can be dangerous. >> reporter: now the driver was extremely experienced. though 17 years old, he'd been at it for four years and won rookie of the year trophies. trace johnson. he's from a well respected, well
liked racing family, the johnsons based in petaluma, california. the petaluma racetrack said they are deeply saddened and they wish for healing in all of this. all of the drivers donated their entry fees from last night to the victim's families of this accident. >> paul, this apparently isn't the first accident, fatal accident to happen at this track. is there anything to be said about this particular track? >> not so much the particular track, though the sheriff's department confirmed in 2010 in august they have semi-truck racing there and there was also a fatal accident at this very same marysville track. >> paul ver cammen, thanks so much. president barack obama heading to the middle east tuesday. it is his first international trip of his second term. he'll make stops on the west bank and in jordan as well. and he'll meet with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the white house says the trip's agenda is quite full.
pope francis has delivered his first angeles prayer. he blessed the crowd of more than 200,000 in st. peters square this morning. breaking from tradition francis walked out from the vatican grounds and went right there kissing and conveying his messages one and on to these cheering well wishers. it's very green in many places around the world. it's st. patrick's day. check out the dancing and celebrations going on in shanghai, china just a short time ago. and the duke and duchess of cambridge, will and katherine, celebrated at a parade near london as well. they presented shack rocks to the first battalion irish guards. folks in chicago dying the river green. chicago's annual parade draws thousands of people there every year. we're taking you back to steubenville, ohio straight ahead. the rape case that's shaken the
small town came down to a judge's decision today. up next the mother of the victim. more of her comments. [ man ] i got this citi thankyou card and started earning loads of points. we'll leave that there. you got a weather balloon, with points? yes i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. go. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is! [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] earn points with the citi thankyou card
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for the first time since the steubenville, owe rape trial began the victim's family is speaking out 37 the mother of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high school football players issued a recorded statement to the boys who committed the crime. poppy harlow was in the courtroom and she joins us live right now. this was an audio recording that was played in the court? what time of the proceeding? >> reporter: it is an audio recording. it was not played in the court. this is a statement that the mother gave to us, the media, after the court had ended this morning, after the verdict had been read, after the sentence had been handed out in a
separate room she gave the statement. it is obviously very difficult coming from the mother of this 16-year-old victim who was raped by these two boys back in august. it is the first time that we've heard publicly from the family in all of this so we want to play you the entirety of her statement so you can hear hear for yourself. >> it did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in or what sport you've played. human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. it is a god given gift instilled in all of us. you displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code. your decisions that night affected countless lives, including those most dear to you. you were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. this does not define who my daughter is. she will persevere, grow and move on. i have pity for you both. i hope you fear the lord, repent for your actions and pray hard for his forgiveness.
>> reporter: just as you heard the pain in the voices of the courtroom from the two convicts boys, their parents, you hear it clearly in the voice of the mother of the victim. it is very difficult to listen to but you can hear her anger at what happened and also saying that her daughter will get through this, that she will persevere and right now, frankly, she's just trying to get back to being a teenager in high school here in this small ohio town trying to somehow put her life back to normal. >> poppy, did the victim's mother or even the victim or perhaps even the attorneys representing the victim say anything about what they thought of the sentencing, if they thought it was just appropriate, et cetera. >> reporter: we haven't heard from the victim's family, what they thought about the sentencing. we are expecting to hear more possibly tomorrow so if i do talk to her i will ask the family what they think of it. but when you look at the sentencing, the maximum sentence these two juveniles could face
is to serve until they are 21 years old. the judge gave malik richmond a sentence of one year and trent mays a sentence of two years because both were found guilty of rape but trent mays was also found guilty of taking an illegal nude photograph of this girl that night when she was not consenting to anything. that is illegal as well. he will serve two consecutive years. both of them are going to get credit for the time, the few months that they've already served but after their release they're going to have to register as sex offenders wherever they live, fredricka. so this will stay with them. >> poppy harlow, thanks so much in steubenville, ohio. the ohio attorney general says that he's asking for grand jury to see if more charges should be filed in the case as it relates to at least 15 other people who may have been eyewitnesses. we'll talk about that with a we'll talk about that with a former prosecutor up next. s hot? well you can see if the hotel is pet friendly before you
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we've been bringing you details of the rape case that has rocked the town of steubenville, ohio and riveted the nation. two teens have been found guilty and sentenced for raping a 16-year-old girl after a night of partying last summer. but charges against those who witnessed the rape could also be filed soon. ohio attorney general mike dewine is asking a grand jury to convene on april 15th. >> we've gathered a lot of evidence, but this case just -- we can't put this thing to bed. we cannot bring finality to this without the convening of a grand jury. there's 16 witnesses who wouldn't talk to us. we have other evidence that we want to present to that grand jury. this community desperately needs to have this behind them.
for this community also desperately needs to know that justice was done and desperately needs to know that no stone was left unturned. >> let's turn to former prosecutor and professor of sexual violence law, wendy murphy. good to see you, wendy. >> good to be here. >> what kinds of charges are we potentially talking about for maybe as many as 15 witnesses that the attorney general was talking about? >> yeah, well, at a minimum we're talking about a prosecution probably for many of them at least i believe there's plenty of evidence to prove the crime called failure to report a crime. not every state has this but in a nutshell it simply means if you know that a crime happened, you have a duty under the law to report it and if you don't, you could be prosecuted. there is also the possibility after more serious crime of accessory to the actual rape itself or even a joint venture prosecution which simply means if you're there while the crime is happening, if you are
participating in some meaningful way -- in other words, cheering the guys on, taking part enough that the law says you should be held responsible to some extent, even if you never touch her, then that can be pursued either as a joint venture or accessory crime. those can be prosecutioned. attorney general says so many of the guys who were witness diagram not cooperate, didn't give evidence. that's probably ramped up his desire to take this case to a grand jury. we know that some of the guys have cooperated, were given immunity from prosecution and testified. you can be sure they'll be called to the grand jury and see what did you see if terms of the rape and in terms of the other people who were there surrounding the circumstance, what did they do or no do to facilitate the crime. >> when you talk about grand jury and potential felonies, you are talking about adult court as opposed to this juvenile
detention setting. >> well, it depends. under ohio law there are provisions depending on the nature of the crime, provisions for kind of almost automatic transfer to adult court depending on your age. all you have to be is over the age of 14 and you condition transferred to adult court under ohio law for certain kinds of crimes. but it is not mandatory. it depends on age and degree of criminal involvement. >> in this proceeding the defense conceded that the victim was very drunk and that apparently the young men thought that she was consenting. but where is the line between being drunk and being so woozy i guess but there is consent involved because that was a point of contention here, that there was an interpretation that it was okay but then there's also the defense that says she just wasn't able to comprehend
what was happening. >> right. good question, fredricka. it is such a difficult question for me to answer. i actually lecture at universities all over the country where this is an even bigger problem. the name of my electrlecture isd what's the difference between rape and sex with a buzz. one is a felony and the other is pleasurable. if you are substantially impaired so that you're not acting with free will, that you're not making the choice of your own free mind, then there's a really good chance if another person touches you in a sexual way, they're committing a serious crime. not all sex that involves even a high degree of alcohol ends up being reported to police. it could be an invisibility problem. sure, it is sort of a crime but if nobody tells that it's not
really a serious enough offense to rise to the level in this case. but here's an important issue. the problem with being very incapacitated, whether by alcohol or drugs, is that even a good prosecutor who wants to bring charges can't. because if you don't have a victim with a memory, how are you going to prove what happened? so in this case -- i think it is a very important lesson especially for potential offenders out there. we now that vel phones, ipods, everything, at the crime scene recording these events occurring. so you no longer need a victim conscious enough to testify about what happened because we have eyewitnesses in the form of people in a lot of these cases but also in the form of ready available technology. >> wendy murphy, thanks so much. lots of lessons learned from this case. >> you bet. 23 candidates, 3,000 voters but only one could win the first straw poll of the 2016 presidential race. what? we'll tell you who won. and 68 teams are vying for
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political action conference. paul kept 25% of the vote slightly edging marco rubio. does winning the c pack straw poll mean anything? how significant is this win for these two rising gop stars? >> it's better than losing but we're so far away from 2016 but there is no doubt that conservatives are still at the core and a part of the republican party. it certainly can influence primaries so it is a good start. it keeps them in the headlines. they are up and comers and you always want to kind of keep it going but you can't rest on that alone. there's a lot more of a journey between now and 2016. >> among those potential up and comers, now dr. ben carson. he was there at the conservative political action conference and he certainly got the audience very excited and was very critical of the obama administration. you also talked with him this
morning on your show. >> it's not really right stuff or left stuff. it's logical stuff. it's talking about what has happened historically to people who don't control their budgets and a whole host of other things in terms of destroying the harmony in the nation and pitting people against each other, how those things are not useful. i think a lot of people resonate with that. they don't have to be democrats or republicans. they just have to be logical people who want america to succeed. >> so is he a serious contender potentially? >> i don't think he he is a serious 2016 contender, at least by his own admissions. but it does tell you, he sort of faced off with the president, at least was in his proximity when he criticized the president about a month ago at the prayer breakfast. this made him an instant darling of conservatives. conservatives basically feel that on capitol hill and
elsewhere the conservatives have not confronted the president, have not been tough enough. so he was heralded as this new conservative voice. he clearly has an interest in politics. he's going to retire from medicine. he's a man of sur stance. he's a man with a background and he certainly could have a political future if he wants it. but again, there's a big distance between sort of wanting to jump in to the fray. today he talk about being an independent which to me says that at some point he's going to say something that will really upset conservatives. politics is more a day by day thing than anything that would lead us to believe right now that it really is going to have an impact on 2016. again he says he wouldn't be a candidate for president in 2016 but i think he'll be a player. >> candy crowley, thanks so much. training for a triathlon no easy task. getting to the finish line requires months dedication and
hard work. for fit nation participant annette miller, training has been a triumph. miller has lost a whopping 146 pounds in just 14 months. cnn's sanjay gupta tracks her training. >> reporter: just two months ago we sent our six fit nation participates loose on their journey to become triathletes. annette miller started her journey even earlier. . january of 2012 she weighed 385 mounds. by the time she applied for the program she'd already lost more than 100. now it is 146 pounds off the scale. last week i got to see her in nashville. >> when it comes to working out, you only get out of it what you put into it. i can remember not being able to maintain for 30 minutes and i can run for two hours now or when i'm doing a class i still have steam left at the end of
the hour. it feels good to keep building on that. >> there's more to the story than that. annette also inspired her own sister who was considering gastric bypass surgery but had a change of heart when she saw annette's progress. >> about a month ago she just told me, i've been watching you and i've seen how you've done this an changed your life and i seen your attitude change and i'm going to try without the surgery first. she said because you've done it, i think i can at least try. >> that's a great story. it's what this is all about. we'll keep checking in with a annette and her sister and annette, i will see you at the na nautica malibu triathlon hopefully in september. >> we wish them well! march mad smes here! fans of the miami hurricanes are pinching themselves this st. paddy's day. we'll show you the time who could be the surprise number one seed for the big ncaa tournament. [ kate ] many women may not be absorbing the calcium they take
south florida is cheering on two very impressive basketball teams, the miami heat just won its 22nd straight game and the university of miami hurricanes just won their first conference championship in school history and they could be a top seed when the ncaa brackets are a announced during selection sunday night. john zarrella visited the campus and says basketball is no longer taking a back seat to football on that campus. >> reporter: packed stands. five home sell-outs. unheard of. university of miami hurricanes basketball has for years, well, to put it bluntly, been an
afterthought. the u has always been about cleats, not sneakers. >> we never thought we'd see this. this is awesome. >> reporter: the men's basketball team ran off 13 straight acc wins at one point moving into rarefied air, ranking second in the nation. that had had never happy before. they'd never won a regular acc season title until now. they beat carolina twice, knocked off duke when the blue devils were ranked number one. what do you tell your kids and grandkids down the road about this magical experience you've had? so what happened? >> it is kind of hard to imagine. it's been a dream come true for us. we talked about it just being a testament to our hard work. >> reporter: was it some cosmic force, been alignment of the planets? in a way, it's all of that. four or five starters are seniors. >> they realize, hey, this is my
last chance and i need to make this work. and it makes them a little hungrier. >> reporter: then there's jim rallanage, he came with a winning pedigree. in 2006 his george mason team was the cinderella of the big dance. making it to the final four. the basketball program's winning ways couldn't have come at a better time to raise spirits. an ncaa investigation determined there was a lack of institutional control, primarily with the football team. that's the worst possible violation. the key figure in the investigation, a one-time booster, now serving time for running a nearly $1 billion ponzi scheme. during an eight-year period he allegedly doled out money and favors to players and recruits. ncaa penalties have not come down yet. it's unclear whether this could impact the basketball program. but for some fans, none of that matters. >> really don't care what the
ncaa has to say. we're just here to support the team. >> reporter: for this slice of time, no matter how brief it may be, at the u., it's about sneakers, not cleats. john zarrella, cnn, coral gables. >> wow. as we said, today is selection sunday for the ncaa tournament. 68 teams vying for college basketball's biggest prize will be announced. that means you can start filling out your brackets tonight. and you can test your bracket skills against me and other cnn anchors in the official ncaa march madness bracket challenge game. go to cnn.com/brackets and join the cnn group to see if you can pick the ncaa bracket better than me. that's my challenge. the evidence is mounting that the housing market is making a comeback. in a minute we'll find out if real estate is ready to get red-hot. pope francis gave a speech from that famous papal apartment
but it's what did he on the streets that's capturing everyone's attention. so let's break down this play. charles? uh, charles couldn't make it. his single miles card blacked him out here and here. he should have used... the capital one venture card. he's coming to us from home. hey fellas... hey baby, you want mama to iron your undies? nice tightie whities. i didn't know mrs. barkley made quilts. really? looks like a circus tent. is that the best you got? now if you put this, with this, you have a sailboat. what's in your wallet?
the clues are starting to mount. le receipt estate market is making a comeback. in the last appointment report there was surprised spike in construction jobs. this week we could see evidence of even more houses being built and sold. sam stovall is the chief equity strategist for s&p capital iq. we saw a jump in construction as well as new construction of homes and construction jobs. why is all this important? >> well, fredricka, it is very important because it's estimated that anywhere from two to three new jobs are added to our economy with every single new
home that is built. so with the february numbers coming out this week, and it expected to show about twice as high as what it was at the trough in april of 2009. that's good news. >> how can you tell when the real estate market is just warm or when it's really about to get red-hot? >> well, red-hot i guess i wouldn't describe it right now. we're still about 2 1/2 times lower than we were at the peak in january of 2006. but certainly when you're looking at the s&p case schiller home price index and you see it up 10% year over year, that's a pretty good number. when inventories are relatively lean, that implies there are an awful lot of people that might be competing with you. >> the mfederal reserve meeting this week. what they decide on interest rates trickles down to the rest of us. should we be getting ready for higher interest when we buy a car or house? >> no, i don't think that's
going to be a concern. fed already told us it plans on waiting until 2015 and with all of the debt that's coming due, they certainly don't want to refinance that government debt at much higher interest rates. they're going to keep rates low for a while in our opinion. >> the markets have been pretty good. on a great roll for ten days in a row until friday, then it went negative. what can we expect for the week ahead? >> i think we're starting to get some news out of cypress, out of europe, about problems with the dead situation again so maybe that will end up being the excuse for those who had run up the market to take some profits in the week ahead. >> thanks so much, good to see you. have a great week. >> you, too. the new pope giving his first sunday message before thousands of followers. but wait until you see what he did outside the vatican today. that's a hint right there. an a reminder to watch cnn's new showed "the lead" with jake
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the new pope delivered his first sunday message from his papal apartment today, but it's what he did outside the vatican that captured a whole lot of attention. ben wedeman is covering pope francis for us in vatican city. >> fred, if benedict was the intellectual pope, francis is quickly shaping up to be the people' pope. it could be any church with a priest greeting worsepers one by one after sunday's mass. but it wasn't any church and it wasn't any priest. it was pope francis at the santa ana parish church in the vatican. his charm offensive moving full steam ahead, he stepped outside of the vatican and into italian territory to greet well wishers. >> i was watching some of the video, and obviously very
personable. really connecting with the people. >> in his first sunday as pope, pope francis appeared at the window of his papal apartment overlooking a packed st. peter's square. speaking of forgiveness and compassion. and eliciting a laugh when he said he wasn't providing free advertising for a cardinal whose writing s he praised. he ended with a simple message, have a good sunday and a good lunch. >> four days on the job and pope francis is already shaking things up. even his own television, vatican tv, is calling him the unpredictable vote. >> maria already feels closer to the church. >> one of the problems that the catholics have had is that they were so high, and we're a little too low, so now he's closer.
we're happy for that. >> his personal style is going over well. >> he seems like a very nice guy, very humble, very down to earth. >> with a new hand at the vatican's helm, the faith are destined for a new rhythm. >> and it's a rhythm that might bring new life to a church in need of change. fred? >> thanks so much, ben wedeman. wow, lots of vigor coming from the selection of pope francis. it's fun to see people excited like that. >> i love it. >> hey, don, how are you? >> great. i like the green. >> i like the green, too. >> we're matching today. okay, fred, could you have heard this? let me explain. rand paul, sarah palin, newt gingrich, bring it back to both of us, so there's this panel at cpac, and it's called are you
tired of being called a racist when you know you're not one. so that was -- enough said with that. there was a disturbance that broke out because there's a gentleman, who is a frederick douglass republican, so an african-american republican, and a gentleman stands up and says he feels disenfranchised and the moderate explains, he reads a letter and says he forgives him, and the guy says why? for providing him with food and shelter? and that's when the argument breaks out. >> i think ten years, he writes a letter to the former slave owner and said, i forgive you. >> for giving him shelter and food all this time? >> no. >> okay, and then it goes on after this. >> oh, my.
this elicited quite the response there. you're going to take us further this evening? >> i am. that's only one person. he came to the cpac conference, he had his friend who was wearing a rebel flag, and you know, he's one person, but this is exactly what conservatives are trying to get away from. the image that they're trying to get away from. so the party leader coming up with a plan, reince priebus announced it this morning on face the nation to address, to reach out to blacks, hispanics andati atiosians, but again, th exactly what the party doesn't want. is something like this going to throw a thorn in that whole process. >> that discussion was permitted in the cpac conference, so someone thought it was an appropriate discussion to be had? >> i don't understand the title. are you tired of being called a racist when you know you're not one? if you're not, it doesn't apply to you.
right? >> look forward to it. all right, don. much more of the news room just minutes away. before we get to don lemon and the news room, what do kim kardashian, tiger woods, and a new blackberry phone have in common? you have to stick around to find out. as certified recovery specialists at lifelock, we're dedicated to getting you back on track from identity theft. to protect you from being a victim in the first place, we have specialists for that, too. ♪ [ alarm blaring ] ♪ [ lasers zapping ] ♪ yep. we make a pretty good team. [ male announcer ] call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen.
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